Choosing a cat based on characteristics of cat breeds

This post will show you characteristics of most popular cat breeds, based on this you can choose a suitable cat for you.

AbyssinianAmerican BobtailAmerican CurlAmerican ShorthairAmerican WirehairBalinese (Javanese)BengalBirmanBombayBritish ShorthairBurmeseBurmillaCalifornia SpangledChartreuxCornish RexCymricDevon RexEgyptian MauExotic ShorthairGerman RexHavana BrownHimalayanJapanese BobtailKoratMaine CoonManxMunchkinNorwegian Forest CatOriental LonghairOriental ShorthairPersianRussian BlueScottish FoldSiameseSiberian ForestSingapuraSnowshoeSomaliSphynxTonkineseTurkish AngoraThe Turkish Van

Characteristics:

The Abyssinian has a royal appearance—tall and muscular, with a shiny short coat that typically comes in one of three colors: a warm, orangey tone called “ruddy,” which can be as light as apricot; a deeper warm brown called “sorrel”; or a pinkish taupe called “fawn.” Whatever the color, it is ticked with one or more bands of shading—an early name for the breed in Great Britain was British Ticked—with the color at its deepest along the spine and at the tip of the tail. Occasionally, recessive tabby markings emerge. Instead of the tabby M, most Abyssinians have a vertical stripe of deep color above each eye. (Was this perhaps the inspiration for ancient Egyptians to shave off their own eyebrows when mourning the loss of a cat?) Unusually, Aby kittens are sometimes born with a dark coat that lightens as the cats mature. Abys are generally playful but, perhaps yearning for their great sandbox of yore, do not always take to being confined as purely indoor cats. Some Abys carry a gene for PK deficiency, which causes anemia.

American Bobtail

Characteristics:

Because the American Bobtail’s ancestry is so mixed, all manner of colors are acceptable at cat shows. The important qualification for competing cats is the tail length. Like the “stumpy”tailed Cymric, the cobbybodied American Bobtail typically has a tail from 1 to 4 inches (2.5 to 10.2 cm) long. Occasionally, kittens may be born with either a fulllength tail or none at all.

American Curl

Characteristics:

Because just one parent needs to have curled ears for the gene to pass along, several varieties of American Curl already exist—longhaired and shorthaired. Both kinds have silky fur without any undercoat, and a thick tail. The roundness of the ears varies from cat to cat; an ear that doesn’t simply curve but folds all the way back is considered a fault at cat shows.

American Shorthair

Characteristics:

Not as round of face or as husky as its British cousin but still broad cheeked and sturdy, the American Shorthair comes in every color as well as the several tabby varieties and calico. The most famous coloring is the deeply striped classic tabby, with a clear M on the forehead. Its fur is indeed short and quite dense, and it tends to grow more thickly in cooler months, perhaps thanks to this breed’s origins as a pioneer cat that spent its days outdoors.

American Wirehair

Characteristics:

The first few generations of  American Wirehair were bicolor, with red and white fur, but now any color shared by the American Shorthair can be found in this breed. Breeders have worked to produce evenly crimped fur, which should form ringlets right to its tips, as well as a more compact body than the first long-legged ancestors. Wirehair kittens are born with fur that is already tightly curled. Because the wirehair characteristic is carried  by a recessive gene, matings of cats even of  this same breed can produce kittens with normal fur and, on the flip side, excessive inbreeding can cause respiratory problems in offspring; as a result, healthy, genuine Wirehairs are still relatively rare.

Balinese (Javanese)

Characteristics:

Unlike most other longhairs, these supersleek cats have no ruff. Their fur is called “erminelike” for its softness. Like their Asian ancestors, they are born white before they develop colorpoint coloring. They have blue eyes and an exotic bone structure. But, in contrast  to their shorthaired cousins, they are enerally far less vocal!

Bengal

Characteristics:

Bengals’ coats have expanded to several colors—silver and various tones of  brown, from buff to sepia—with a highcontrast marbled or spotted coat. The marbled variety is deeply swirled along the horizontal, unlike striped tabbies. One particularly interesting color is known as “hot rufus” for its intense orange hue; another variation, the seal lynx point, is spotted all over but with darker point markings. The preferred style of spotting for show cats features rosettes rather than the ordinary polkadot sort of spots. Whatever their color or pattern, Bengals have complex stripes on their faces, and their spots continue all the way down their tail and along their belly. Perhaps the most striking characteristic of the Bengal is its size; males can reach 20 pounds  (9 k) or more without being chubby. They have  a strong and muscular build. Although Bengals can be real pussycats if raised with affection, they do tend to exhibit innate feral behavior when playing, such as attacking their toys as if genuine prey. This rare breed’s availability is hampered by the fact that, because its genetic mix crosses species barriers, the males are often born sterile. On the upside, further experiments with crossbreeding have resulted in even some longhaired Bengals.

Birman

Characteristics:

The Birman has a silky, long coat that has a unique twist with regard to color. Although its ears, mask, legs, and tail are colorpointed, and its body may be creamy or silvery in tone, its feet are pure white. Birmans don’t have exotic characteristics, such as a long nose or an angular body. They are broadfaced, with a Roman nose, and have a powerfully built, cobby body under all that fur. Except for their white feet, they share point colors with the Siamese. A shorthaired cousin of the Birman that has developed in the United States is called the Snowshoe.

Bombay

Characteristics:

Bombays have a round face, with amber to copper eyes, the latter being the most prized color. Their fur is very short and they shed very little. Whatever skin leather can be seen, on nose and paws, is pure black.

British Shorthair

Characteristics:

This sturdily built, roundfaced shorthaired cat took on just about every color and pattern, including colorpoint, thanks to mating with various feral cats that already lived in northern Europe. Tabby markings are very common in this breed. They make calm and loyal companions. Although the British Shorthair has long appeared in cat shows in the UK, it was not registered in the United States until 1970, and only then in the solid blue original color. Since then, the U.S. registries have expanded to include other colors and patterns of this breed.

Burmese

Characteristics:

The Burmese is roundfaced, with very short fur. In the United States, the only colors accepted in competitions are champagne (a warm beige), platinum (a pinkish pale gray), brown, and blue; other countries permit not only other solid colors but also various tortie tones. (The Malayan is an early term for a Burmese with blue, chocolate, or platinum fur, and is no longer in use by registries.) The British body type is a little more exotic than the American one. Some modern U.S. Burmese are being bred to have a flatter face, more like a Persian’s (this can cause facial deformities such as cleft palate and it is not to be encouraged). The Burmese is the ideal house cat, tolerant of  children and so friendly that it would not survive well outdoors. They love company and live best with a companion cat if you can’t be there to serve their emotional needs.

Burmilla

Characteristics:

The body type and face tilt a bit toward the exotic, even while the cat has a muscular, solid body. Like the Burmese, its fur is very short. But unlike the Burmese, its fur is tipped with a darker tone, especially along the spine, and the tail and upper legs usually exhibit tabby stripes. There are often vertical marks above the eyes, separated by a Vshaped patch of darker fur or additional stripes. The eyes are normally green. Like their Burmese ancestors, they crave company and make affectionate house cats.

California Spangled

Characteristics:

This handsome newcomer to the feline community looks like a jungle beast crossed with a sweet little tabby. The mediumsize cat has a wild posture, close to the ground, and an unusually blunttipped tail. Its short fur comes in a broad range of tabby colors, from gold through bronze, red, and brown, to charcoal and black. In all cases, the cat is prolifically spotted, with close bars around its legs and tail, and the classic tabby M on the forehead. Its eyes

tend to be amber. The California Spangled’s complex family tree has worked to its favor to produce highly intelligent, strong cats. Despite its wild appearance, the Spangled has no wildcat blood, and is an affectionate household cat—assuming you can afford to bring it home.

Chartreux

Characteristics:

Modernday European litters of  Chartreux may contain a variety of short and longhaired blue kittens, and as a result of all this tampering, this breed is not yet accepted in British registries. In North America, however, there has been greater interest in maintaining the purity of the original French cat, and it is registered there. The Frenchstyle Chartreux is stocky and strong, with a range of solid blue fur barely tipped with silver. The eyes are deep amber.

Cornish Rex

Characteristics:

This breed has no guard hairs, resulting in its superthin coat. The fleecy fur comes in all colors, including colorpoint, and is waved everywhere on the cat’s body, right down to the tip of its barely furred, pointed tail and wavy whiskers. The Cornish body type is distinctive: long legs, and a curved back and concave belly. The head is small, with a wedgeshaped face, making the cat’s eyes and ears look enormous. It is a myth that the Rex cats do not shed; if allergies are a problem, consider another breed. All Rexes have a slightly higher than usual body temperature but still, because the fur is so short, keep this cat indoors if you live in a cool climate.

Cymric

Characteristics:

Like the Manx, the Cymric may be entirely tailless, known as a “dimpled rumpy.” A “rumpy riser” has a tiny bit of palpable tailbone yet no tail emanates from it. If there is a little bit of tail, that makes the Cymric a “stumpy.” One with an almost normal tail is called a “longy.” (Only rumpies and rumpy risers are presently acceptable as show cats.) Cymrics have a silky double coat that plushly covers a cobby body whose front legs are on the short side, giving the cats the effect of having their rump in the air (whether they are a rumpy riser or not!). A litter may produce kittens with a broad range of tail lengths, even of full length, depending on the genes of both parents. Likewise, if both parents are Manxes with a recessive gene for long hair, they may be surprised with shaggy Cymric kittens. On the other hand, tragically, stillborn kittens will result if the embryos inherit the Manx gene from both mother and father. Probably due to excessive inbreeding, other Cymric kittens may be born not only tailless but also with spinal bifida. Because of such genetic flukes, surviving litters of healthy Cymric cats tend to be small and thus, that much more precious.

Devon Rex

Characteristics:

The Devon Rex has a slightly more rounded yet still wedgeshaped face. Unlike the Cornish Rex, the Devon has a welldeveloped muzzle rather than its face ending in a sharp point. This breed also has a fuller, heavier torso. Like the Cornish, the Devon has long legs, but they and the tail are also thicker, the latter coming to a rounded end. The fur comes in every pattern and color, and is so short that it is more like suede than conspicuously wavy, so that it has a ripple to it rather than fully formed curls. However, it is coarser and thicker than the fur of the Cornish Rex, with very short guard hairs. The whiskers and eyebrows are curly. Due to excessive inbreeding, some Devon Rexes carry a recessive gene called spasticity disorder; because of this tendency, the pedigree of  Devons produced at breeders’ catteries is carefully recorded. To strengthen the breed, Americans are also mating Devons with Oriental breeds such as Siamese. Like the Cornish Rex, this cat should be kept indoors in cool climates.

Egyptian Mau

Characteristics:

Although this breed looks, as a body type, a lot like its fellow Egyptian, the Abyssinian, it has a special characteristic that sets it apart: its finely spotted, ticked coat. The color range is restricted to date to only four: black, bronze with a beige ground, silver, and smoke (black spots on a silvery white ground). The face and neck display tabby markings, including the famous M. The Mau may have had very early wild origins to the Felis libyca, and breeders have been taking care to outbreed an innate savage quality that seems to be part of its genetic makeup. Although today’s Maus are more civilized than their ancestors, they do not take well to the company of other animals and tend to dislike being passed to another owner once they have bonded with their first. They do best in quiet and stable onecat households.

Exotic Shorthair

Characteristics:

Like the true Persian, the Exotic has a thick neck, broad face, small ears, and “pushedin” nose, which, combined with its short facial fur, has given rise to its comparison to the teddy bear. It has a cobby body and relatively short tail. The fur ranges through all Persian and all American Shorthair colors and patterns. Exotic Shorthairs are generally sweettempered and quiet cats, and certainly do require less intensive grooming than their Persian relatives.

German Rex

Characteristics:

The German Rex is fineboned and tall, and has dense, closely curled fur resembling Astrakhan fur, including along its tail. Its whiskers, unlike the Cornish Rex’s, are nearly straight, however. The color and pattern possibilities run across just about the entire feline spectrum, from solidcolored Rexes to bicolors and even colorpointed cats. The German Rex is often playful and quite lively; like the other Rexes, however, its short fur necessitates its being kept indoors in cold climates, for optimum health.

Havana Brown

Characteristics:

The British version of the Havana is a cat with a solid brown coat and a strongly exotic body structure: long nose, triangular face, and angular build. In the United States, however, the Havana has a shorter nose, a rounder face, and a semicobby body; an alternative color is the greeneyed lilac, the result of mating a Russian Blue to a chocolatepoint Siamese. Unlike Siamese, Havanas are born with their final color rather than maturing into it.

Himalayan

Characteristics:

The puffy ball of fur known as the Himalayan is actually a Persian—with Siamesestyle colorpointing (in fact, it is known in Great Britain and other countries as simply a Colorpoint Longhair or an Exotic Longhair). Himalayans can be blue, chocolate, cream, lilac, red, or seal pointed; they can also be tortie or lynx pointed. Whatever the color of their fur, they should have blue eyes. They are considered far more retiring in temperament than  the Siamese. This class of coloring was first recognized by the British cat fanciers in 1955; two years later, the first American Himalayan show cat was displayed in Calgary, Canada.

Japanese Bobtail

Characteristics:

This cat’s face is distinctive, with highset eyes above high cheekbones and a long nose, and it often sports parallel vertical stripes in the center of its forehead. Its tail is only around 2 inches (5 cm) long and is curled tightly against the cat’s upper rump, to appear balllike. A longhaired version of this cat was first documented in Japan in 1954, but actually this breed did exist as an occasional mutation before that date. These shaggy Bobtails share their shorthaired relatives’ short tail and coloring, with the addition of a ruff and ear and toe tufts. Both varieties are known to have a sweet personality and a sweet, melodic voice.

Korat

Characteristics:

Korat fur, supersmooth without any undercoat, sheds so little that this breed is considered a good one to try in a household with cat allergies (the allergy is to dander, but the lack of shedding keeps much of the dander on the cat). The hairs are solid blue lightly tipped with silver. Korat kittens may be born with amber eyes, and it can take a few years for their coat to acquire the glossiness prized in adults. Unlike other exotics, their body approaches the cobby build, with a rounder, more heartshaped face than the Siamese’s classic triangle. This breed likes things quiet and slow, as perhaps its lifestyle is in its native country. They demonstrate acutely sensitive sight, smell, and hearing, and in consequence dislike loud noises.

Maine Coon

Characteristics:

The Maine Coon is best known for having lynxlike tabby markings, but in fact can appear in all colors except colorpoint. It takes about three years for the complete characteristics of the breed to emerge. It is sweettempered and an excellent companion for children.

Manx

Characteristics:

The cat’s torso is very short, the most truncated of any breed, with a round rump that is raised a bit in the air, due to a shortness of the forelegs. The chest and face are broad. Although the Manx has a thick double coat, it is a shorthaired cat. It comes in every color and pattern, including colorpoint. The lack of a tail does not impede the Manx from being an adept climber, jumper, and hunter. As for that spinal defect? Kittens conceived by the mating of two tailless Manxes run the risk of being spontaneously aborted, or if they survive birth may have a severe defect similar to humans’ spina bifida, which impairs their lower digestive system. The problem can be averted  by only mating an at least partially tailed cat with a tailless one.

Munchkin

Characteristics:

The Munchkin comes in all colors and coat lengths; because the breed is unregulated, anything goes when mating time comes around. There are even longhaired Munchkins whose belly fur literally brushes the ground! Its limbs are notably short, which can make it difficult for the cat to run, climb, and jump. Considering this liability, the cats should be kept indoors, because outside it would be difficult for them to escape danger.

Nebelung

Characteristics:

The Nebelung is so new that it is only sporadically listed with cat registries. Already, however, a standard appearance has been established: a densely furred blue longhair with ear tufts and a plumed tail, and a tendency to pose very upright when seated.

Norwegian Forest Cat

Characteristics:

This is a big cat, with a lynxlike look to its face. It sheds its shaggy, uneven winter coat every summer, including its long bib, although it retains ear and toe tufts yearround. The tail is a long plume. The body beneath all that hair is broad and solid with short legs. The heavier bone structure and more pointed muzzle, as well as the thicker quality of the fur, distinguishes this breed from the Maine Coon. The Norwegian comes in many colors except colorpointed, especially tabby, often with a white belly, bib, and/or chin.

Oriental Longhair

Characteristics:

The coat is silky and fine, and not as long as that of other longhaired breeds, with a slimmer, feathery plumed tail. Cats kept indoors, or those living in a warm climate, will have a slightly shorter coat. The colors can be solid black, white, or lilac, redticked tabby, blue tortie/tabby, or black smoke. Due to this breed’s mixed heritage, the rare colorpointed kitten may occur.

Oriental Shorthair

Characteristics:

The Oriental Shorthair is basically a Siamese cat that is not colorpointed and that has green eyes. After that, anything goes—a solid coat, tabby or tortie markings, ticking. There are, in fact, more than fifty colors, thanks to the cats’ broadbased ancestry. A particularly splendid variety is the Oriental Ebony, an allblack cat with vivid green eyes, which must have black parents to qualify for registration. Oriental blues are born to brown and lilac parents; shaded and tipped colorings emerge from mating Siamese with Chinchilla Persians; and on it goes. Unlike Siamese kittens, Oriental Shorthairs are born with their adult color, so at least breeders know what to expect right from the start.

Persian

Characteristics:

Persians have a very round face with a distinctive horizontal indentation between their eyes and nose, called the break. From the cat’s profile, its nose should be aligned with its forehead and chin. Extreme versions of this profile have been encouraged by some breeders, but they are frowned upon for traditional competition. The fur is deep, with a long ruff, and requires regular maintenance to remove tangles. This cat must be kept indoors, to keep the fur clean and unmatted. Persians come in more than sixty colors; in America, the colorpointed variety is called a Himalayan; in Great Britain, this is a Colorpoint Longhair. Some colors are favored over others (the British still prefer blues), and in most copper eyes are to be expected; white Persians may have odd eyes, one blue and one copper. A pure black Persian without any white or rust is rare and therefore very valued. In some countries, such as Canada, a solidcolored chocolate or lilac Persian is referred to as a Kashmir. Persians are generally placid and expect to be pampered; they would rather sit around looking regal than tear up the house.

Russian Blue

Characteristics:

In the mid1900s, breeders began experimenting with crossing the Blue with a Siamese for a more pronounced angularity, or with a blue Finnish cat for a darker coat. These experiments have led to there being slightly different breed characteristics among competition and breeders. For example, the British prefer their Blues to have blue paws, but in the United States the paws should be more mauve. Variations in body color include Russian White and Russian Black, produced by crossbreeding with solidcolor nonblue cats.

Scottish Fold

Characteristics:

The Scottish Fold is available in shorthaired and longhaired varieties. Both have a round face with small, tightly curled ears tipped fully forward, with a single or double crease, to cup the top of the head. Some Folds are born with straight ears and are called PinkEared Folds. They have a cobby body and a less flexible tail than other breeds. The fur comes in most colors and patterns, except for lilac, chocolate, and colorpoint; bicolor or tortie Folds are common. Scottish Folds are prone to ear mange and deafness. Beware of mating a Scottish Fold to another Fold; this may produce kittens with various forms of bone deformities, including excessive cartilage in their paws or a tail with fused vertebrae.

Siamese

Characteristics:

Initially the breed did not thrive in the West, but breeders persevered. Four colorpoint varieties developed, predominantly the seal point. The others are lilac, chocolate, and blue. All Siamese have blue eyes, a long nose within a wedgeshaped face, a thin tail, and a slim, angular foreign build. They tend to enjoy clambering up to high places. Siamese are notoriously vocal, especially when in heat.The original show standards in Great Britain back in 1889 actually called for kinked tails and crossed eyes (the first UK Siamese champion, Wankee, had a kinked tail), but these are being bred out as undesirable. American Siamese tend to have a more streamlined, angular body and thinner tail than those living abroad, with ears set low on the sides of the head; some U.S. Siamese breeders also attempt to perpetuate the tendency toward an “apple” (round) head, which is frowned upon in Great Britain.

Siberian Forest

Characteristics:

The Siberian Forest is less cobby in build than its Western cousins, and has large, tufted ears. Like the Norwegian Forest, its fur is waterrepellent, and it sheds its winter coat in spring. Most Siberian Forests have fur in the golden or brown family, darker at the tips than near the skin.

Singapura

Characteristics:

The Singapura has a distinctive coloring to its very short fur: The ground color is ivory, but the cat’s flanks, back, and head have deep brown (sepia) ticking, with the deepest sepia on the tail. The eyes are large and either gold, green, or hazel. The cat’s chunky build makes its joints seem to connect at almost right angles. The ears are large and the chin small; the bone structure and large eyes of this cat give it an exceedingly pretty face. As a breed, it is believed to be the most petite of domestic cats, with adults weighing as little as 4 pounds (1.8 kg). It has a playful personality and a sweet voice. Because of its delicacy, it should be kept indoors.

Snowshoe

Characteristics:

The standard eye color is bright blue, a holdover from its Siamese ancestry. Although other colors exist, only blue point and seal point are accepted for competitions at this time. Another inherited trait from its Siamese past is a tendency toward vocalization. This breed is a bit emotionally needy, and should have a companion cat if you cannot devote enough attention to it.

Somali

Characteristics:

Although it is hard to tell under that shaggy coat, the Somali has a foreign body type with long legs. The lavishly ticked fur has as many as three colored bands, producing a beautifully shaded coat that is darkest along the top of the head, spine, tail, and upper limbs. The tail is deeply plumed and the ears have horizontal tufts of fur. The usual color range for a Somali is blue, silver, red (also known as sorrel), ruddy (or simply Somali), or fawn, with gold, hazel, or green eyes. Above each eye is a vertical dark stripe toward the bridge of the nose. Kittens are born dark and lighten with time. Like Abys, the Somali may carry genes for PK deficiency, which causes anemia. Although sometimes initially standoffish with humans, this cat is playful and tends to want to go outside. Like the Maine Coon, it tends to chirrup rather than meow.

Sphynx

Characteristics:

The Sphynx has a suedelike feel, and sometimes has neither eyelashes nor even whiskers. There may be a tiny tuft of hair at the end of the tail. The ears, muzzle, and feet feel furrier than the rest of the body, relatively speaking. Their ears seem enormous, their face is a long triangle, and their torso is surprisingly rounded and sturdy compared with the scrawny appearance of their long legs. The Sphynx comes in many colors, and they are often bicolor. The color can often be seen as well in the skin directly beneath the fuzz. Because this cat can sweat all over its body, not just on its paws, it needs to be wiped down periodically to keep its skin from looking oily. The Sphynx has a surprisingly large appetite, because it burns more energy to keep warm. Obviously, unless you live in a very warm climate, it is unwise to let your Sphynx outside.

Tonkinese

Characteristics:

The Tonkinese resembles early Siamese and Burmese cats with their muscular  bodies. The hair is very short and colorpointed, with a range of colors, including several tones of “mink,” a warm tan. Only five colors are permitted for showing in the United States. The colorpointing is softer than in the Siamese, and the body color is lighter. A special trait that sets the Tonkinese apart from either Oriental ancestor: turquoise blue eyes, the result of mixing the Siamese’s cooler blue with the Burmese’s gold, an unusual instance of the eye colors actually merging in hue.

Turkish Angora

Characteristics:

The U.S. Turkish Angora has a fineboned body with a wedgeshaped face; the long, silky fur has no undercoat and is wavy on the cat’s belly. The cat’s heavy winter coat sheds heavily in the spring. The fur can be any color but colorpointed, and the eyes coordinated to the body color. Because odd eyes occur so infrequently in white cats of this breed, Angoras with this characteristic are considered very valuable.

The Turkish Van

Characterictics:

The Turkish Van is a beautiful semilonghair that is pure white except for coordinated tabby stripes on the top of its head and on its fluffy tail, a piebald color pattern that has come to be known as van markings. The hue of the markings may be golden to deep orange, cream, blue, or black. Some Vans have mottled markings in two colors that may appear in unusual combinations, such as cream and blue. Occasionally, a Van will have a small spot of color on its torso, especially on one shoulder, which the Turkish people view as a special blessing of Allah. A rare color variation named Van Kedisi, pure white with oddcolored eyes, is the national cat of Turkey. Because they are considered national treasures, very few of these allwhite cats are allowed to leave the country, thus their scarcity in the West. As for their special personality—although cats, in general, notoriously avoid water, not so the Turkish Van. Indeed, they are perhaps most famous for being ardent swimmers, and willingly do daily laps in rivers or lakes when living freely in their homeland.

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